United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) supports hold placards as they wait the party's leader, Nigel Farage (unseen) to arrive to campaign to leave the European Union, ahead of the June 23 referendum, in Dagenham, east of London on May 23, 2016. Leaving the European Union would tip Britain into a "year-long recession", finance minister George Osborne warned Monday as campaigning stepped up a month from a referendum on membership of the bloc. / AFP PHOTO / NIKLAS HALLE'NNIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP/Getty Images
© Niklas Halle'n/AFP

Robert Shrimsley, in “ A second Brexit poll is a bigger risk than leaving” (October 9), says that advocates of a second referendum “do not believe in a new vote; just in a new answer”, and that such is “entirely a device to stop Brexit”. If that is what they believe, it would be completely beside the point. A second vote would simply be a most necessary opportunity to revise opinions in the light of information, and of economic projections, that have, entirely unsurprisingly, emerged since June 2016.

If anyone does actually see a new referendum as a “device”, that is an irrelevance. What matters is establishing voters’ current, better informed views rather than clinging with blinkered doggedness to the potentially out-of-date.

Sadly, Mr Shrimsley goes on to drag out the now familiar canard that this would be telling the electorate “to try again because they got it wrong”. This is patronising silliness that denies the public credit for being capable of sober reassessment. He warns that a second referendum campaign could trigger “a descent into pure populism”, but capitulation to fear of such a reaction cannot be a right response.

Patrick O’Brien
Capel Seion, Aberystwyth, UK

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